It could be what you ate. Or when you ate. Or how much you ate. It burns because stomach acids slosh backward into the esophagus. Common problem foods and drinks are -- Fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine,spicy foods, peppermint, chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, and garlic. What can help -- Eat smaller meals. Wait at least 2 hours to lie down. Don’t smoke! Take an antacid. If you get heartburn frequently, or if antacids don’t help, call your doctor.